Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Nettleton
Belpre | Kinsley | Lewis | Nettleton | Offerle | Wendell
The town was started by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1872 and was named for an official of the railroad, Mr. Nettleton. John Fitch, from Chicago, wanted to established a plantation in Kansas, so he purchased some land in the northeast edge of the county which included the settlement of Nettleton. The name was changed to Fitchburg, and the Fitch home was probably the first of its kind in Western Kansas with plumbing and other conveniences.
Mr. Fitch constructed a flour mill which was operated by steam power and windmills. However, beginning in 1874 the area went through several years of hard times with the grasshopper plague and the drought. Mr. Fitch lost his fortune and eventually lost his life in a farming accident in 1877. Shortly thereafter, his baby died, and a few weeks later, Mrs. Fitch died. All three graves were on the front lawn of their magnificent home.
The post office, established in 1877, was named Fitchburg, then changed to Nettleton in 1878. The town name was changed to Nettleton, as well. The post office remained there until shortly after 1900.
The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.
Richardson, Myrtle H. "Oft' Told Tales: A History of Edwards County, Kansas, to 1900". Lewis, KS: The Lewis Press, 1976.
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